Six mistakes

Marc Miller, president of ChangeMaster Corp., admittedly hates many of the traditional selling techniques. He trains his clients how not to have to make a lot of cold calls. He “abhors” those goofy closing techniques. And one of his rules is “no jargon.”

Here are some of the most common problems he’s seen in his 15 years as a sales trainer.

  1. Managers who don’t have enough hiring experience to be good at it.

    “So what they do is they hire somebody else’s sales baggage,” says Miller. “They end up hiring people who are low-probability shots, or they hire somebody else from their industry, and they’re hiring experience, not behavior. “

  2. The business model is commoditized.

    “The way they make money is plain vanilla. They lack differentiation,” he says.

  3. The manager expects the sales people to do everything.

    “They don’t investigate how redeploying a sales team and putting people into new sales roles can really give you far better yield and accelerate your growth,” he says.

  4. The business lacks a target market.

    This results in sales people who have to be all things to all people, Miller says. “That leads to absolute mediocrity.”

  5. The business has weak leadership.

    When a business manager or owner isn’t strong, it’s often hard to make the necessary changes, he says.

  6. The leader doesn’t understand marketing.

    If they “don’t understand marketing, they do shot-gun kind of things that don’t get them real good yield,” Miller says. You have to create major account opportunities for your sales team.